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CYCLECAR AND MOTOR CYCLE NOTES.

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[ LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.

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[ LETTERS TO THE EDITOR. THE FARMERS' UNION AND PARLIAMENTARY REPRESENTATION. To the Editor. Sir,—Mr J P Griffiths in his letter published in the Hereford Times" of December 20, respecting the attitude of the official Conservati ve Party towards a Farmers' Union candidate, has hit the nail on the head. He says You (the Hereford Times ") refer to the exposure of a plot in North Herefordshire. Plot there undoubtedly was, but not a Radical this time." I gather that the mem bers of the North Herefordshire Farmers' Union are desirous of taking an active part in politics in order to obtain a satisfactory and just representation of their views on non-party lines. An eminently praiseworthy object. Before doing so, how- ever, it would be advisable, nay, imperatively necessary to their eventual success, to study the forces they are out against. If members of the Farmers' Union were to study a book entitled The Party System," by Hilaire Belloc, they would better comprehend the reasons which have led to their being, as Mr Griffiths has crudely put it, dished" by the official Conservative Party. Put shortly, one may say that the members of the Farmers' Union are up against the Party System. They are up against the Caucus (in this case the Conservative" Caucus,") which by means of the Secret Party Funds rules both Liberal and Conservative party alike. This caucus at headquarters decides whether a certain candidate is safe." That is whether he will unswervingly vote for all measures which the Party Caucus decides shall be made into "Party Cries." The caucus, whether Liberal or Conservative, decides in short whether a prospective candidate is likely to put party before principle. If it is possible to get a local man who is also safe," well and good, the local candidate obtains the support of the powers at headquarters, but should the local man be a man who would do his best to represent the interests of his constituents and to put their interests before the interests of the party to which he nominally belongs, then that man is silently pushed out of political life or else, as in the case of Mr J M Parry, never given a chance to enter it. The Farmers' Union.is avowedly an organisation formed on non-party lines, but here comes the rub, neither Conservative nor Liberal party caucus want a man who would have been elected on those lines. He might, and probably would, if he were an honest man, be inclined to vote on the merits of each Bil!, and that is just the sort of man the Liberal and Conservative Parties do not require. They, on the contrary, want a man who will fit into the party voting machine and who can be whipped easily into the party divisional lobby. So you have Captain Ward-J ackson, a stranger from Yorkshire (doubtless a good enough chap in his way), preferred over Mr J M Parry, a well-esteemed and eminently desirable local candidate. My father, the late Mr C W Radcliffe Cooke, who was for many years in Parlia- ment and latterly 'Member for the city of Hereford, happened to differ upon what was supposed to form one of the Conservative Party cries." He received a letter respect- ing this same divergence of opinion from Maxse, the editor of the National Review," and, as far as I remember, a connection by marriage of the Cecils, and therefore" in the know." One sentence ia illuminating-it ran "II faut se soumettre ou se demettre," that is Submit or leave the party." This was written to a man who had devoted the the greater part of his life to the service of the Conservative Party. Under these con- ditions is there any wonder that Mr J M Parry should scarcely be a persona grata at the Conservative headquarters, and that another official Conservative candidate will spring up. like a Jack in the Box, should Captain Ward-J ackson see fit to retire from the scene. The discussion at the last meeting of the North Herefordshire Farmers' Union tended in some degree to show that the farmers themselves are beginning to realise the forces they are up against. Mr Lewis asks Are the farmers mere pawns on the board ?" Mr Lewis has, unwittingly perhaps, hit upon the truth. But it is not only the farmers, but the electorate as a whole are at the present time mere pawns in the party game. It is when these same pawns" begin to have ideas of their own that the players behind the scenes indulge in a good deal of wire-pulling in order to squash their aspira- tions. It is up to the farmers to refuse to be pawns any longer. These home-truths may, and probably will, prove unpalatable to many honest and convinced Conservatives and Liberals alike, but it is better that the Farmers' Union should face the facts here and now if they are ever to obtain success in in the future. In conclusion, I would mention that I have the honour to be a member of the Women's Social and Political Union, an excellent school for the study of the politics of the country. We women have for many years past realised the part the male electorate have been playing in the game of party politics. Any awakening on the part of even a section of that electorate to a sense of their personal responsibilities as electors is much to be welcomed. The Farmers' Union are out in support of true repre- sentative institutions which have become degraded and prostituted by the Party system.— Yours faithfully, C. C. RADCLIFFE COOKE. Much Marcle. December 31st, 1913.

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I FOOTBALL NOTES. ;

WORCESTER & DISTRICT LEAGUE.…

HEREFORDSHIRE JUNIOR LEAGUE.I

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HEREFORDSHIRE AND LICENSING…

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